Category Archives: Story Ideas

The Music of Prose: Why Fiction Writers Need To Be Poets, Too | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 5

The Music of Prose: Why Fiction Writers Need To Be Poets, Too | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 5

Every Friday afternoon, back in Tommy and Baker’s MFA days, there was a tradition. A tradition of slaughter, of domination. It was ugly, it was fun, it always proceeded to revelry at a local dive bar. It was the weekly MFA basketball game, where the Poets would team up against the Prosers.* The Poets had a… Continue Reading

The Anti-Masterclass: Learning to Write by Slogging Through the Mud and Taking No Shortcuts | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 4

The Anti-Masterclass: Learning to Write by Slogging Through the Mud and Taking No Shortcuts | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 4

Friends, we’re here to preach a little hard truth. Some people–famous writers, even–want you to think there are shortcuts. James Patterson has been using Facebook to advertise his $90 MasterClass called something dumb and inviting like “Learn to Write a Bestseller”. The class might teach you a lot, but it might also be a waste… Continue Reading

How Fiction Writers Can Use Story Structure Without Getting Bogged Down, Downtrodden, or Duped. PLUS: ANNOUNCING OUR WRITING CONTEST! | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 3

How Fiction Writers Can Use Story Structure Without Getting Bogged Down, Downtrodden, or Duped. PLUS: ANNOUNCING OUR WRITING CONTEST! | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 3

This week, Tommy decided he needed a nap more than he needed to talk about story structure and outlines. He hates that stuff anyway, so, good choice, Tommy Z. He’s all about anarchy and chaos, and this week we’re getting organized. But the problem is, you can get too organized, too structured. You can read… Continue Reading

Rust Never Sleeps: Getting Back to Writing After a Long Hiatus | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 1

Rust Never Sleeps: Getting Back to Writing After a Long Hiatus | Fiction School Podcast Season 5 Episode 1

Hey, you. Yes. YOU. You should enter Fiction School’s first annual writing contest! It’s the 2016 FICTION OPEN! The winning story gets published in Razor Lit Mag (where Baker is the Editor, so you know it’s cool) and the author will be a special guest on an upcoming episode of Fiction School. There’s a small… Continue Reading

The Back-To-School Special: Updates from the MFA Underground | Fiction School Podcast #46

The Back-To-School Special: Updates from the MFA Underground | Fiction School Podcast #46

Remember the Trapper Keeper? It was so badass, especially when you could poke a hole in a corner and blow it up like a balloon.  I did that almost every day in fourth grade. Every fall in those salad days of elementary school, I’d get queasy walking into Wal-Mart to get my Trapper Keeper and fresh… Continue Reading

World Building and the Myth of Prewriting | Fiction School Podcast #45

World Building and the Myth of Prewriting | Fiction School Podcast #45

Here are things that Tommy Zurhellen doesn’t believe in: Santa Claus. The Bermuda Triangle. The Ghost of Bear Bryant. And…prewriting. That’s right, ‘Schoolers.  There’s no such thing as prewriting, and there’s no such thing as preheating your oven.  Everything you do is actually writing, in one vague form or another, according to TZ. Which is… Continue Reading

The New Year’s Writing Resolutions Show, 2015 Edition | Fiction School Podcast #44

The New Year’s Writing Resolutions Show, 2015 Edition | Fiction School Podcast #44

So, uh, yeah.  It’s been a while.  We resolve to not let so many days pass between shows in 2015 (until Baker’s twins come.  Might miss a few around then.).  We’re sorry we’ve been away, and we missed y’all. Anyway, today on the show, we talk about the renewal we feel here in the new year… Continue Reading

Getting Writing Done When You’re In a Life Jam | Fiction School Podcast #43

Getting Writing Done When You’re In a Life Jam | Fiction School Podcast #43

Hey there–long time no see…er, hear.  Yeah, the irreverent professors of Fiction School have been a bit erstwhile with our podcast of late. But we’ve got good reasons, y’all.  We’re busy putting out books and getting famous and drinking margaritas on the beach like the rockstar authors we are.  Yeah, totally.  That. Really, we’re just… Continue Reading

Reading Your Work to Strangers and Promoting Your Fiction | Fiction School Podcast #39

Reading Your Work to Strangers and Promoting Your Fiction | Fiction School Podcast #39

One magical summer, two writers who’d been friends forever decided to raise a little hell.  They piled boxes of books, some camping gear, a few changes of clothes, and a cooler full of sauerkraut and beer into the back of a Camry.  They hit the open road, reading their fiction to anybody who’d listen. It… Continue Reading

How Writing Retreats Can Grow Your Career | Fiction School Podcast #35

How Writing Retreats Can Grow Your Career | Fiction School Podcast #35

Sometimes there are just too many dishes in the sink to get that line of dialogue right. The TV is too loud to make that first sentence sing, you know? Real life. It gets in the way of Fictionland all too often. But what if you want to get away from real life and crank… Continue Reading